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National Guard Called Into Hoboken; 15,000 Without Power [UPDATED]

Mayor Dawn Zimmer called in the National Guard around 10 p.m. on Monday night. As of 3 a.m. on Tuesday, they had not arrived in Hoboken.

UPDATED 2:45 a.m.—Flood water started receding in Hoboken around midnight, but not after causing major flooding, power outages and damage all over town.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer called in the National Guard on Monday night for extra assistance as raging floodwaters from Tropical Storm Sandy ravaged Hoboken. Roughly 15,000 people were without power as of 9:45 p.m. on Monday night, with two substations in town underwater.

The National Guard did not make it to Hoboken as of 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Much of the west side was in the dark as of 10:30 p.m. It's unclear when power will be restored.

Zimmer said Public Service Electric & Gas workers were attempting to get to Hoboken to restore power, but weren't able to enter the city due to widespread flooding, Zimmer said.

A swollen Hudson River overflowed on Newark, First and Second Streets from Garden through Grand.

"It was like a river," according to one city employee. "In all my life, this is the worst I have seen it."

The Hoboken Municipal Garage was completely flooded as of 8 p.m., covered in about three feet of water.

Downtown cafe Legal Beans Coffee was completely destroyed, according to one eye witness, with the windows shattered.

The Hoboken Fire Department put out an electrical fire at 219 Park Ave. No one was hurt, and the one tenant in the building was taken to a safe place.

Trees were down all over town and pockets of power outages were reported.

Heavy flooding was reported on Jackson, Clinton, Monroe and Willow. Uptown Washington Street, at 14th Street, and the area around the Shipyard were completely flooded, as was Observer Highway. City Bistro and Maxwell's were reportedly underwater as of 8:30 p.m. on Monday night, as heavy winds picked up.

A traffic pole came down in downtown Hoboken, taking wires with it.

The Fox Hill Senior Center on 13th Street was without power for a few hours, said Executive Director Carmelo Garcia. About ten residents on respirators were evacuated from the building and brought to a hospital or the Wallace Shelter, he said.

The other buildings in the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) still had power as of 8 p.m. on Monday night. Elevators in all HHA buildings were shut down, Garcia said.

While the Housing Authority was hit hardest during Hurricane Irene, the flooding on Monday night was relatively minimal, according to Garcia.

Around 5 p.m. all traffic signals in Hoboken were down due to a blown transformer, Zimmer said, urging all Hoboken residents to get off the roads.

"It is crucial that everyone gets off the roads," she said. "We have no signals at all. We mean business."

Power went out in different places around town, while other pockets still had working electricity as winds picked up speed, rapidly causing wires to go down and trees to fall. 

Full power was working in the shelter at the Wallace School, Zimmer said.

Power was lost in areas from Fourteenth Street to City Hall as well as pockets of downtown Hoboken.

As Hoboken prepared for the arrival of Sandy earlier on Monday afternoon, most businesses on Washington Street were closed and boarded up, the shelter was looking for more volunteers, and the Hudson River already flooded well into the Lackawanna Terminal.

The city announced a 6 p.m. curfew for Monday, until 1 p.m. on Tuesday. All cars were supposed to be off the road by 4 p.m.

A transformer exploded at Second and Madison Streets earlier on Monday, likely due to heavy winds, and kept popping and blowing sparks in the air around 3 p.m. Hoboken Fire Deparment officials and Public Service Electric & Gas representatives were present at the scene.

Around 2 p.m. on Monday there were about 35 people in the Wallace School evacuation shelter, with about five volunteers working. More volunteers were needed to man the shelter overnight.

Large groups of people were out by the waterfront on Monday afternoon, taking pictures and looking at the rising water of the Hudson River as it spilled over Pier C Park's edge. Warrington Plaza was completely flooded as early as Sunday night.

While police tried to shut down Frank Sinatra Drive and told people to leave, curiosity won.

"I came to check out the flooded waterfront and terminal," said Hobokenite Matt Mateo, 45.

Doug Cruickshank came down from Weehawken to look at the water, posing for photos in the pouring rain.

"This is pretty unique," Cruickshank said. He added that he thought this storm would be "a lot more serious than Irene."

On Washington Street, people were seen doing some last minute shopping and stopping at CVS and in bodegas, which were some of the few businesses open.

S.Sullivan's Bar & Grill was full of patrons around lunchtime on Monday, a time that's usually quiet.

"We never close," said the bar's manager, Michael Falco. "Today's a family day, it's a family business."

2nd & Willow October 30, 2012 at 02:30 AM
2nd & Willow: https://picasaweb.google.com/115582184004988932581/2012HurricaneSandy#5804918172696774306
Mimi October 30, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Can anyone tell me how newark st near the triangle fieehouse is doing?
LaWauna G October 30, 2012 at 01:38 PM
May God Bless you all
Eileen October 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM
So sad. Hang in there. Prayers and people are on their way to help.
LaWauna G October 30, 2012 at 01:41 PM
BE SMART DON'T GO OUT ULESS ABSOLUTLEY THE STORMS ARE OVER AND FLOODING IS TAKEN CARE OF
Eileen October 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Sorry you were hit so very hard. Take care of each other.
Bobby Lee Marta October 30, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Tragic thing, this superstorm on the east coast, but these people who will not listen to, or follow the evacuation warning and put first responders and others in harms way for their ignorance need to be left to what ever they reap. Idiots breed idiots !
Irene October 30, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I used to live in Matawan... Can anyone tell me how did they made out with the storm damage?? Hoping all is well with everyone in my old home state of NJ.
Robert October 30, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I'm sure the Mayor didn't "call in the National Guard." She doesn't have the authority to do that. More likely, she made a request to Gov. Christie, who, so to speak, is the commander in chief of the N.J. Guard.
carol October 30, 2012 at 02:41 PM
anyone know how Cape May made out....still waiting to hear from my Aunt
Lee Jones October 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I guess Gov Christi needs federal spending after all. Maybe after it is all over he can apologize and Repay those funds to the Federal Government since he his against Federal Spending anyway.
Linda B October 30, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Our prayer are with you all. May GOD bless and keep you safe. Linda B from Alabama
Melinda Young October 30, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Good to know that in a crisis that the Bar & Grill was still serving liquor. LOL Hope everyone makes through this mess.
Susan Baker October 30, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Stay safe my New Jersey friends. This too shall pass. We're all thinking of you.
Louann Dapron October 30, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Sending lots of prayers to all my family and friends in Hoboken I hope you're all safe!!
Vdrummin October 31, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Can anyone tell me how Jefferson St. is my Sister and her family are trapped and I can't get in touch with her
MARK PURCRLL October 31, 2012 at 11:49 PM
it is so sad to see politics brought into something as tragic as this SUPERSTORM........
MARK PURCRLL October 31, 2012 at 11:51 PM
ashame politics have to be a SUCH A FACTOR
MARK PURCRLL October 31, 2012 at 11:53 PM
BLESS ALL OF YOU............
Tori H November 01, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Jefferson St isn't doing too good. My friend lives on Jefferson and 6th and her house is 10 feet under water, entire ground floor submerged. They can't drain it yet as street water is at the same level. I evacuated to JC but majorority of us in Hoboken don't have power and have no idea when it will be back up again? Most people did take precautions but when an entire East Coast is giong to be flooded, where to you evacuate to?

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